A New Year Calls for Some New Changes!

Kablam! The year 2010. What challenges lies ahead? What can I do to make this year the year Vertigo Games is actually making a profit? Well, how about making some games, for one. And two, change up some things right here on the site, starting with this spiffy new look for the blog.

Last year I released three games- greenTech, Kablooey! and Sandbox of God 1.5, if you can count that one. I have to admit, that’s pretty damn embarrassing. Even moreso when you consider the fact that greenTech and Kablooey! were specifically made for competitions…there were no commercial games I released last year, nor any games made just for the heck of it. Most of the time I spent last year was working, but I could have done so much more.

A lot of that has changed in the last few months. I’m currently working on two projects now, Liquisity 2 and The Oil Blue, as well as another unannounced game. I’m going to port Kablooey! to Game Maker 8 this month, as well as seeing whether or not Spirits of Metropolis would make a good GM8 port. The first podcast will go out in a few weeks. I’m in the process of figuring out a way to securely deliver patches to customers without having to email them, and so far it’s coming along ok. I’ve revamped the blog so that it’s more friendly to new blog posters other than myself, whoever those might be. I have some really exciting prospects on other platforms other than PC/360 that are looking good. Of course, I’d love to collaborate in making another indie 360 game too. Things are a happenin’.

What’s happening at a faster pace is my desire to make this passion work. There’s no time to lose. I have about $5k in debt with Vertigo Games that I need to clear as soon as possible. Part of that will be done with promotions, like you are seeing with the Sandbox of God: Remastered, and part of that are investments in games not yet released. I’m not exactly worried about being in debt. What I am worried about is being in debt forever.

I’ve seen a lot of you really chip in and drive to make Vertigo Games work, whether that was something as simple as voting for Kablooey! or pitching in some money for the Kickstarter project. To that I say, thank you, so much. There would be zero drive if I didn’t have a community as active as you guys.

So, yeah, things will happen at a faster pace now. Things are a changin’. I look back at the list I made at the beginning of 2008 of games that would be done that year, and only one game out of the five were actually completed. I look back at 2009 and see only three games released. I can do more. I have to do more. I have the ideas, I have talented teammates, I have the opportunity, and I have you. Let’s do this. Here’s to a great year of gaming!

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. heyjd says:

    Cool… i like the site change 😀

  2. Whoa. Consoles other then PC/360. That is very cool!

    “The first podcast will go out in a few weeks.”
    Great. Been waiting for that one especially 🙂

  3. Sara says:

    this makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside…i feel like i need a group hug… 😉

  4. Ravenheart says:

    Chubigans when the hell will you stop depending on second rate services and platforms?

    I’ve been following you for many years now and each and every time the games you decide to release as commercial products suffer from these same symptoms:

    1. They are mind benders that no one besides the hardest of puzzle fans wishes to play, and even fewer want to buy.

    2. Quit releasing them on second rate platforms/services, GamersGate? Direct2Drive? How many other similar games like the ones you’ve released have actually made it?

    You gotta get a couple of things right:

    1. Make a game that you want to play beyond the first time you loose a level. Games like Liquisity, Atlantis, ONR, Prisms of Light followed simple rules which made them fun to play anytime, even if you did loose a couple of times. The thing I really hate about casual games is that most are simply annoying to play and don’t follow their guide line: be FUN to play.

    2. Release the games on a platform that will give you some attention, GG and D2D are NOT those platforms. YES you guessed it, go for STEAM.

    At this point you will probably be thinking “wth is he talking about, Shellblast and SoM are fun games to play!” well no, how many of the people in the forums have bought it? How many of those people that have been here for years have said “yeah I like those games and I will buy them” my guess is very little.

  5. Don says:

    How about a few games for Macs ?
    oh and don’t be dismayed by comments about how few play games that actually make you think!!! Something tells me the words needs more of that.

  6. Illari says:

    @Ravenheart: Shellblast is my second favourite game of all time, but it’s also a sequel to some freeware game no one has ever heard of, one that requires the player to have beaten the original game a couple of times beforehand. So there definitely is some fail in its marketing strategy. I’m still hoping for one final Acidbomb game (Shellblast 2.0?) with all the levels from Shellblast mixed with tons of Acidbomb 1 style levels in the beginning. There’s just too much potential in these games that was never properly used, and Shellblast needs some updating anyways like the saving system for example.

    Well technically Acidbomb 2 is the favourite game since I forgot to get Shellblast when I bought SofM and never got it afterwards. I’ll be getting it when the Kickstarter thingy ends. But the extra features in Shellblast seem fun based on the demo.

    I thought SofM was too easy most of the time, while I’ve heard others say the opposite. Don’t know what’s up with that. But it is a fun game and one I don’t regret paying for. The only real problem is that it looks way too much like a Bejeweled clone to draw much interest.

  7. chubigans says:

    @Ravenheart:

    You are absolutely right about my first two commercial efforts; I came to realize that after Spirits that I had no business going after the casual game market. I didn’t have the experience, the audience, or the tools to really make something like that. I’m really proud of ShellBlast and Spirits, but I doubt I’ll ever get into those types of games again. As far as other platforms go, we’re limited to the way security is handled on Game Maker. Both D2D and GG are more free than say Steam, and I’ll look into Steam more on my next commercial release, The Oil Blue. It’s been quite a learning experience, but don’t worry, I’m getting there. 🙂

    @Don

    Welcome to the blog! I did plan to do some Mac ports, sadly the Mac version of Game Maker was infinitely delayed due to staff changes a few weeks ago. However I think they’ll pick up development again on that program soon and once GM on Mac is released, I’ll go full steam in supporting it!

    @Illari

    I agree that I wish ShellBlast took after Acidbomb 1 more as far as the style goes, but I’m pretty much done with that title, sans any more ports to platforms.

  8. JKR says:

    Ravenheart, you make some valid points. One thing to keep in mind though is that the goal of Vertigo Games is to make games people enjoy. Some you might like, and some might be better suited to other folks (like those mind bending puzzle games). The key is to know your audience. I don’t think David expects the extrememly difficult and more “niche” titles to pull Gears of War sales. The important thing is to go in with reasonable expectations based on the product you’re creating.

    But you’re in luck, because a sequel to one of the games you mentioned enjoying, Liquisity, is currently in the works! So there’s that to look forward to.

    As far as platforms for selling these titles, a huge portion of publicity relies on word of mouth. Even on big name sites like Steam it is easy for a fun game to be overlooked. It’s important that people tell other gamers about the titles. That’s something we can all do. I’m sure David will continue to look for opportunities to expand to big name distribution methods like those you mentioned though.

    The important thing to remember is that not all games appeal to everyone, but that doesn’t mean a particular game should never be made. I know personally that Harvest Moon is a pretty niche series, but I’m sure glad some crazy person in Japan decided to make a farming simulation RPG back in the SNES days, because I personally found it amazingly fun.

  9. Mr. Munchkin says:

    Hah, don’t worry about only releasing 3 games…that’s still better than me.
    Over the past 15 months that I’ve been using game-maker the only game that I’ve only been able to release one game. Which was a crappy example :P.

    Besides, I’m positive that the games this year will live up to your standards.

    I would absolutely love to see some PSP ports of your games. Definatly something that I would buy without a second thought….

    On a totally un-related topic,
    your entering comp 05 aren’t you?
    I can’t wait to see what you come up with (if you are/do).

  10. ashkan_gc says:

    i think david is so creative and his best games are ONR and lequisity but other might love other games. saying this, my first 3D game is a tetris clone. creating games in copy cat design is not bad but you need to say something new in your game and i think shellblast has new things for puzzle lovers. hope for a better year! i can help you on steam API integeration. i can wrap C++ classes to c style dlls compatible with GM for you. i never did not work with steam but i can help in coding.

  11. chubigans says:

    @Mr. Munchkin
    I’d love to see some PSP games too. Like, this year even. Now that would be awesome.

    :mrgreen:

    But I will not be entering comp 05, for reasons I cannot say right now but will make sense in due time. Good luck to all the people entering!

  12. Huzzah for PixelJunk: Shellblast!

  13. Garion says:

    Nice theme!

    Was it a free one, or did you pay for it?

  14. chubigans says:

    A free theme, totally redone by me. 🙂

  15. Gingi says:

    Hey, I’ve been following Vertigo Gaming for two years I think. I first found out about Vertigo Gaming through ONR2 and ever since I have been a great fan of your games! Around a year and a half ago I tried to register to the blog and forum but for some reason I couldn’t (I can’t remember). However I continued to follow the blog and the games through the website and the YoYoGames website. Anyway I’m hoping that the new website changes will allow me to officially register and good luck on the changes! I think the new developments are great! 😀

  16. chubigans says:

    Thanks Gingi, and welcome to the blog!